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Cornell Notes Locker

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Focused Note Taking (Cornell Notes)

"It's not about the paper, it's about the PROCESS"

Making and using Cornell Notes is a study tool.  Following the Cornell Way is a process that will give you multiple repetitions with the material. Interacting with your notes on multiple days, and in multiple ways, will help you raise your rate of retention.  Remember, It does you no good to write your questions and summary on the same day as your notes. Follow AVID's "10-24-7" model to help you get multiple repetitions with your notes.

Watch the C-Notes Video...


CN History List (O'Meara)

CN History List

CN History

Social Science C-Notes

CN Science Journal (Erickson)

Science C-Notes in Journal Format (Erickson)

CN Science Journal


CN History Power Point Handout

CN from PP Slides Handout

CN Algebra Journal (Park)

Algebra C-Notes in Journal

CN Algebra

Jennifer's C-Notes Example

CN History

Jason's C-Notes Example

Cite Sources in Notes When Needed

Works Cited Examples

Follow the Cornell Way...

Create Format: Write the title, date, Essential Question, or Purpose (also called, Learning Goal or Objective) 

Organize notes on the right-hand-side:  Take notes from class lectures, videos, discussions, textbooks, etc.  Focus on the main idea and paraphrase.  Use graphic organizers, draw pictures or symbols... develop a style that works for you.

Review and Revise your notes by annotating.  ~10 minutes later, or perhaps at the end of class, or even later that night for homework... Reread your notes to allow the learning to sink in.  Draw "chunking lines" to separate different topics or chunks in your notes, circle key terms, underline or highlight essential information, place a question mark next to P.O.C.s, asterisk or star items you think will be on a test or quiz, add drawings, etc. etc.

Note Key Ideas to Write:  ~24 hours later, write questions on the left side margin.  Use Costa's & Bloom's Levels of Thinking to help you write different types of questions.  Think like a teacher.  What types of questions might be on a test or quiz? 

Exchange Ideas/Collaborate:  If you feel like your notes are not complete, or you simply want to study, talk to and share your notes with a classmate.  Add information to your notes in a different color to show differentiation.

Link Learning to Write a Summary:  ~24-48 hours later.  After you have reread and annotate your notes, and you have written your questions on the left, you are ready to write your summary.  If you can't summarize the lesson, you don't understand it well enough and might need to go back and do step E.  Be sure to address the essential question or purpose in your summary.

Learning Tool:  Your notes exist as a written record of what you are thinking and learning in class.  They are for you and should be used by you to help you learn, understand and retain information.  If you don't study them or interact with them, what's the point of taking them?  Remember it's about REPETITION.  Follow the 10-24-7 Model:  ~10 to 20 minutes after you take notes, review and revise by annotating.  ~24 hours later, write your questions and summary.  ~7 days later, revisit your notes by using the "fold-over method" to study the questions you wrote.  Look at the essential question again and make sure you can still answer it.  If not, re-read your summary.

Written Feedback:  You, or a classmate, can score your C-notes using a C-Notes checklist.

Address Feedback:  What can you do to improve your C-Notes?  Set a C-Notes goal.

Your Reflection:  Reflect back on your goal and consider if you reached it or not.  If you didn't, make an action plan for next time.